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Gulf Coast State College Anthropology Filed Study Project Fall 2023

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LIVE OAK MEMORIAL
PARK
CEMETERY STUDY
Mandy Scott
Fall 2023
How can the study of a cemetery
reveal the cultural history of a
town?
I chose cemetery study as it is personally important to
me. In this specific cemetery, three generations of lost
loved ones of my family are buried here. Cemeteries
are important records of social and cultural history
and biography of communities. Cemeteries are
designed as burials and memorials of the deceased as a
place for families to visit, remember, and mourn the
last resting place of their lost loved ones. Cemeteries
vary in size, architectural design, placement,
landscapes, and many other factors. Some cemeteries
may be dedicated to a particular faith or religion.
Some cemeteries may have crematoria development
along with gravesites. The layout of a cemetery,
whether it has a chapel, wall, gate, stones, wall
memorial, or sculptures may also vary. All the
dynamics of each cemetery whether it is created for
the public, a private graveyard, churchyards, or maybe
even a war memorial ground all play a significant part
in the history of the town or community it is built in.
Cemeteries are the Barrel Model of cultures with a
combination of internal and external factors,
(economic, social, and ideological). This is known as
Conspicuous Consumption.
A Mausoleum is a free-standing building constructed as a
monument enclosing
the burial chamber of a deceased person or people.
Anthropology and
Archeology Research
 The articles I have referenced on cemetery
studies, both show how anthropologists and
archeologists compare and share forensic
data collected from their studies to identify
cultural genetics, ethnicity, religious
rituals, gender, and historical background
of the deceased. While the archaeologists
analyzed the characteristics of each burial
and grave artifacts, the Anthropologists
assigned the information obtained from the
individual skeletons to the burial inventory
archaeologists summarized.
 https://isac.uchicago.edu/research/sympos
ia/performing-death-social-analyses-
funerary-traditions-ancient-mediterranean
 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/article
s/PMC5821334/
A family of headstones in a cemetery.
Methodology
I visited Live Oak Memorial Park
Cemetery located at 112 North Ave
East, Crestview, FL 32536,
Coordinates: 30.77053, -86.57922 on
November 25, 2023.
There are 3,437 Memorials here and
of those, 7 of them belong to my
immediate family including my
mother, her twin sister, and her
parents, and approximately 40 of the
other burials belong to my extended
family. This cemetery is a burial
ground that offers funeral and burial
services.
Here I used gravemarker recording
forms to record the tombstones, I
observed the layout, landscaping,
and how well-maintained the
appearance of the park was.
https://www.liveoakmemorial.com/
Results
Marble Slab over the
burial ground
A family with Marble and
limestone headstones
Marble Mausoleum
A snapshot of the Holy
Bible area of burials
Limestone decorated
with Marble
Dirt placed over
recently burial
During my recording of the different areas of the
cemetery, I found that the areas are labeled. The
groups of graves were sectioned into gardens, The
Holy Bible, Christus, Masonic, Our Lady of Victory,
Hope, and Holy Family. The families buried in each
section were not of kinship. The plots were purchased as
needed or they could be bought and paid for before death to
ensure that families could be buried next to one another.
The tombstones and headstones were either made
of granite, limestone, marble, or metal plates.
There were similar markings on all of them, but
each one had an individualized memorial that
allowed you to determine the gender and role of
that descendent. Markings included, Father, Dad,
Mother, Mom, Sister, Brother, Grandparent, Child, Aunt,
Uncle, Friend, Loved One, or/and Veteran for the ones to be
honored with a footstone for serving our Country. The
headstones date back from 1816 to the most recent being
November of 2023. Out of the 10 headstones that were
recorded, there was 1 infant from 1933, the tombstone was
marked, “infant son of.” The other graves were all adults who
lived life from 40 to 102 years of age.
I did identify this cemetery as being well-kept in landscaping.
However, the cemetery is older and therefore the age shows
in several ways. The entrance sign needs to be replaced and
new, fresh plants and landscaping are needed to enhance the
overall appearance.
Discussion and
Conclusion
My findings during the cemetery study
allowed me to see how differently families
represent their lost loved ones. Some
graves were bare and others were heavily
ornamented and decorated with seasonal
floral arrangements. Those burials seem to
be visited often. Some of the
representations showed symbolic, cultural,
and religious meanings. I found by visiting
this memorial park that this is a large
military community with generations of
family descendants being buried here.
With more research, I could find out how
many kinships lie in this cemetery, the
ethnic backgrounds of the families that are
buried here, and perhaps why this
particular cemetery was chosen as the last
resting place of these lost loved ones.

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LIVE OAK MEMORIAL PARK.pptx

  • 1. LIVE OAK MEMORIAL PARK CEMETERY STUDY Mandy Scott Fall 2023
  • 2. How can the study of a cemetery reveal the cultural history of a town? I chose cemetery study as it is personally important to me. In this specific cemetery, three generations of lost loved ones of my family are buried here. Cemeteries are important records of social and cultural history and biography of communities. Cemeteries are designed as burials and memorials of the deceased as a place for families to visit, remember, and mourn the last resting place of their lost loved ones. Cemeteries vary in size, architectural design, placement, landscapes, and many other factors. Some cemeteries may be dedicated to a particular faith or religion. Some cemeteries may have crematoria development along with gravesites. The layout of a cemetery, whether it has a chapel, wall, gate, stones, wall memorial, or sculptures may also vary. All the dynamics of each cemetery whether it is created for the public, a private graveyard, churchyards, or maybe even a war memorial ground all play a significant part in the history of the town or community it is built in. Cemeteries are the Barrel Model of cultures with a combination of internal and external factors, (economic, social, and ideological). This is known as Conspicuous Consumption. A Mausoleum is a free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the burial chamber of a deceased person or people.
  • 3. Anthropology and Archeology Research  The articles I have referenced on cemetery studies, both show how anthropologists and archeologists compare and share forensic data collected from their studies to identify cultural genetics, ethnicity, religious rituals, gender, and historical background of the deceased. While the archaeologists analyzed the characteristics of each burial and grave artifacts, the Anthropologists assigned the information obtained from the individual skeletons to the burial inventory archaeologists summarized.  https://isac.uchicago.edu/research/sympos ia/performing-death-social-analyses- funerary-traditions-ancient-mediterranean  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/article s/PMC5821334/ A family of headstones in a cemetery.
  • 4. Methodology I visited Live Oak Memorial Park Cemetery located at 112 North Ave East, Crestview, FL 32536, Coordinates: 30.77053, -86.57922 on November 25, 2023. There are 3,437 Memorials here and of those, 7 of them belong to my immediate family including my mother, her twin sister, and her parents, and approximately 40 of the other burials belong to my extended family. This cemetery is a burial ground that offers funeral and burial services. Here I used gravemarker recording forms to record the tombstones, I observed the layout, landscaping, and how well-maintained the appearance of the park was. https://www.liveoakmemorial.com/
  • 5. Results Marble Slab over the burial ground A family with Marble and limestone headstones Marble Mausoleum A snapshot of the Holy Bible area of burials Limestone decorated with Marble Dirt placed over recently burial During my recording of the different areas of the cemetery, I found that the areas are labeled. The groups of graves were sectioned into gardens, The Holy Bible, Christus, Masonic, Our Lady of Victory, Hope, and Holy Family. The families buried in each section were not of kinship. The plots were purchased as needed or they could be bought and paid for before death to ensure that families could be buried next to one another. The tombstones and headstones were either made of granite, limestone, marble, or metal plates. There were similar markings on all of them, but each one had an individualized memorial that allowed you to determine the gender and role of that descendent. Markings included, Father, Dad, Mother, Mom, Sister, Brother, Grandparent, Child, Aunt, Uncle, Friend, Loved One, or/and Veteran for the ones to be honored with a footstone for serving our Country. The headstones date back from 1816 to the most recent being November of 2023. Out of the 10 headstones that were recorded, there was 1 infant from 1933, the tombstone was marked, “infant son of.” The other graves were all adults who lived life from 40 to 102 years of age. I did identify this cemetery as being well-kept in landscaping. However, the cemetery is older and therefore the age shows in several ways. The entrance sign needs to be replaced and new, fresh plants and landscaping are needed to enhance the overall appearance.
  • 6. Discussion and Conclusion My findings during the cemetery study allowed me to see how differently families represent their lost loved ones. Some graves were bare and others were heavily ornamented and decorated with seasonal floral arrangements. Those burials seem to be visited often. Some of the representations showed symbolic, cultural, and religious meanings. I found by visiting this memorial park that this is a large military community with generations of family descendants being buried here. With more research, I could find out how many kinships lie in this cemetery, the ethnic backgrounds of the families that are buried here, and perhaps why this particular cemetery was chosen as the last resting place of these lost loved ones.